What is an Accountant?

A qualified accountant is generally a person who has qualified by examination, received training and is skilled in the practice of accounting.  Accountants work in either the public sector or the private accounting sector. 
The accountant is generally responsible for advising on the financial aspects of the business, as well as reporting on its financial results and looking after compliance matters such as taxation, regulations and government legislation.

A non-qualified accountant is a person who is not formally qualified by examination, but generally has the experience, knowledge and the skills to perform many of the functions expected and provided by a qualified accountant.

Accountants can be an Asset
There will always be times during the operation of your venture that you will need professional assistance to help you with certain areas of your business.  Many larger businesses can afford to have their own in-house accountant. 

However, most small and medium businesses either do not need a full time accountant or cannot afford to employ one as a member of the staff.  In these cases an outside professional accountant is consulted for advice.

Advice will be for financial matters, funding, accounting systems, business records and taxation, etc. Having a good accountant, as an independent advisor is a big asset to any business.

Who can be an Accountant?
Accounting firms come in a varied range of sizes and expertise.  Some specialise in complex business areas, while others are no more than highly paid bookkeepers looking after the simpler side of accounting, such as tax returns, bookkeeping records, etc.  You will have to find an accountant who can provide the type of service your business requires. 

Accountants usually charge on an hourly rate basis. This rate can vary from $50 an hour to $300 an hour, depending on the type of work done and the complexity of the assignment.

Anyone can practise as an accountant in New Zealand and hold themselves out as an accountant whether they are qualified or not or whether they belong to a professional association or not.

Most accountancy firms belong to the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICANZ) As a member of the institute they are required to adhere to a code of ethics and keep up their skills through training and attendance of seminars, etc. 

What Accountants Help You with
Accountants can help you in these areas:

  1. Budgeting
  2. Cash Flow
  3. Costs
  4. Financing
  5. Factoring
  6. Financial Planning
  7. Internal Control
  8. Audit
  9. Business Valuations
  10. Due Diligence
  11. Feasibility Study
  12. Annual Reports

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